New Faces in Political Methodology IX Conference

When Apr 29, 2017
from 08:30 AM to 05:00 PM
Where B001 Sparks - the 'Databasement'
Contact Name
Contact Phone 814-867-2720
Attendees All interested researchers, faculty and students.
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On April 29, 2017, QuaSSI will be pleased to present New Faces in Political Methodology IX. 

Since 2008, QuaSSI has been proud to host New Faces in Political Methodology, a conference that invites an eclectic group of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to come together and discuss their methodology and methodology-adjacent work with each other and with the multi-disciplinary QuaSSI, BDSS, and SoDA communities at Penn State.

In total, 76 early career scholars from 31 different graduate programs have been featured as "New Faces." Please visit the New Faces in Political Methodology page to learn more about them. 

All are welcome and the event is free, but we request that you register / RSVP here if you intend to attend one or more of the panels or lunch.

The preliminary schedule is as follows. Papers should be available here by Monday, April 24.

8:30-9:00       Breakfast

9:00-9:10       Opening Remarks, Burt Monroe

9:10-9:45       Sarah Bouchat (University of Wisconsin)

"Careers & Causes in Authoritarian Legislatures: Clustering Text-Based Elicited Priors."

Sarah Bouchat is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison with research interests in political methodology, comparative political economy, and authoritarian politics with a regional focus on Southeast Asia. Sarah's current work focuses on elicited priors, as well as machine learning and Bayesian statistical applications for the study of low information, authoritarian regimes like Myanmar. 

Sarah Bouchat

9:45-10:20      Matthew Denny (Pennsylvania State University)

"The Politics of Bureaucratic Constraint: How Congress Uses Legal Language To Achieve Political Goals."

Matthew Denny is a Ph.D. student in Political Science and Social Data Analytics at Penn State and NSF Big Data Social Science IGERT Fellow. The substantive focus of Matt's work centers on the study of Congress, state and local bureaucracy, and organizational dynamics, through the use of computational social science methods. In service of this research agenda, he focuses on developing and implementing machine learning algorithms for analyzing social processes. He has a particular interest in developing new statistical models for text, networks, and text-valued networks. His work has appeared in Social NetworksPublic Administration ReviewPLoS One, and EMNLP.

Matthew Denny

10:20-10:55     Mia Costa (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

"Improving Measures of Responsiveness for Elite Audit Experiments."

Mia Costa is a Political Science PhD candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a focus in American Politics and Political Methodology. Mia studies representation, participation and mobilization, experimental methods, and political networks. She is also interested in survey methodology and have served as a UMass Poll Research Fellow since 2014. She is the Editorial Book Review Associate for the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis and works with the Environmental Defense Fund as a research consultant to design and analyze large-scale Get-Out-the-Vote field experiments. Her work has appeared in Review of Policy Research and Political Behavior.

Mia Costa

10:55-11:10     Coffee Break

11:10-11:45     Baobao Zhang (Yale University)

"Quota Sampling Using Facebook Advertisements Can Generate Nationally Representative Opinion Estimates." (coauthored with Matto Mildenberger, Peter D. Howe, Jennifer Marlon, Seth Rosenthal, and Anthony Leiserowitz)

Baobao Zhang is a PhD candidate at Yale University's political science department. Her research interests include survey methodology, causal inference, and public policy. Baobao's dissertation uses natural experiments and field experiments to study how welfare policies affect Americans' political attitudes and behavior. She works as a data scientist for the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, and her work on a survey of trauma hospitals in Syria was published in JAMA Surgery.

Baobao Zhang

11:45-12:20     Anton Strezhnev (Harvard University)

"Survivor Bias and Effect Heterogeneity."

Anton Strezhnev is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University. His research focuses on developing new methods for estimating causal effects in observational data. Substantively, his research encompasses international political economy, international organizations, and judicial politics. His dissertation studies the strategic and attitudinal factors that influence the decision-making of arbitrators in investor-state arbitration. His poster titled 'A new method for estimating treatment effects under “truncation-by-death"' won the 2016 Society for Political Methodology Poster Award. Recently, his article on dynamic ideal point estimation in the UN General Assembly (with Erik Voeten and Michael Bailey) was published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Anton Strezhnev

12:20-1:15      Lunch

1:15-1:50        Fridolin Linder (Pennsylvania State University)

"Text as Policy: Measuring Policy Similarity through Bill Text Reuse." (coauthored with Bruce Desmarais, Matthew Burgess, and Eugenia Giraudy.)

Fridolin Linder is a PhD Candidate in Political Science and Social Data Analytics at the Pennsylvania State University. Frido is studying the application of statistical and machine learning tools to social science questions. My projects focus on the application of modern text analysis tools to social media content, legislative and human rights text and the measurement of social scientific concept such as ideology. He works with the Interdependence in Governance and Policy Lab, was a Trainee in the Penn State Big Data Social Science IGERT, and was a Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellow at the University of Chicago. 

Fridolin Linder

1:50-2:25        Jennifer Cryer (Stanford University)

"Candidate Identity and Strategic Communication: Exploratory Text Analysis of the Influence of Race, Gender, and Party on Candidate Issue Ownership."

Jennifer is a Ph.D. student at Stanford University, in the Department of Political Science. Jenn is also a 2015 National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Fellow, and a Stanford University E.D.G.E. Doctoral Fellow under the Vice Provost of Graduate Education. Her primary field of study is American politics, and she specializes, broadly, in political psychology, political behavior, and political communication. Specifically, she focuses on race/ethnicity; the perception, and communication strategies, of minority candidates; and the behavior of minority voters. Currently, her research focuses on how candidate race and gender impact voter assessments, and how candidate race and gender influence campaign communication strategies. Moreover, other work addresses how the race of individual voters within a district may compel candidates to engage in certain communication strategies. She draws upon a large corpus of campaign communication texts to observe the slight variation in issue ownership, topic selection and messaging.

Jennifer Cryer

2:25-3:00       Andreu Casas (University of Washington)

"Computer Vision for Political Science Research: A Study of Online Protest Images." (coauthored with Nora Webb Williams.)

Andreu Casas is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. Andreu's research interests encompass the areas of political communication, comparative public policy, and computational social sciences. He is particularly interested in how social movements and interest groups influence the political agenda and the decision making process in the current media environment. His methodological interests and strengths are causal inference, computer vision, natural language processing, and machine learning and artificial intelligence in general. In his dissertation he uses computer vision methods to study under which circumstances online visual communications help advocacy groups get their message across. He also works on an NSF-funded big data project studying how the content of bills evolve as they move through the legislative process. His work has appeared in American Politics ResearchAnnual Review of Political Science, and Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológica.

Andreu Casas

3:00-3:15       Coffee Break

3:15-3:50       Yang-Yang Zhou (Princeton University)

"How Refugees Affect Conceptions of Citizenship in Africa."

Yang-Yang Zhou is a Ph.D. candidate in the Politics Department at Princeton University, specializing in comparative politics with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Yang-Yang's research interests include migration and citizenship; public service delivery; and experimental, survey, and GIS methodologies. Her dissertation develops a theory of nation-building in Africa by examining how weak borders and forced migration change conceptions of national identity and citizenship for local, host populations. She is working on randomized control trials of policy interventions in East Africa (with Twaweza and MIT) and Afghanistan (with Mercy Corps and Yale), and her work on methods for asking sensitive survey questions has appeared in the Journal of the American Statistical Association.

Yang-Yang Zhou

3:50-4:25       Laurel Eckhouse (University of California, Berkeley)

"Everyday Risk: Exposure Disproportion and Racial Disparities in Police Shootings."

Laurel Eckhouse is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley.  Laurel studies the politics of criminal justice, racial and ethnic politics, political methodology, and public law in the United States.  She uses a mix of methods, including quantitative empirical techniques, formal modeling, and ethnographic observation. Her dissertation and book project investigates the institutional origins of inequalities in the application of state power, specifically in the context of policing in the United States.  She works with the Prison University Project at San Quentin State Prison and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, and she recently published a discussion of how machine learning algorithms can reinforce racial bias in the criminal justice system in The Washington Post.

Laurel Eckhouse

New Faces in Political Methodology IX will be held in the Databasement. To find the Databasement, (B001 Sparks), see map here.

A light breakfast (available at 8:30am) and lunch will be provided for guests. All are welcome to attend (registration - free - is requested.) We hope you will join us!